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Howard Michael Gould Books In Order

Publication Order of Charlie Waldo Books

Last Looks (2018) Hardcover  Paperback  Kindle
Below the Line (2019) Hardcover  Paperback  Kindle

Howard Michael Gould is a playwright and screenwriter that has been the executive producer and head writer of several TV series before he became an author. Gould was born in New York City and went to Amherst College in 1984, where he graduated with a bachelors in English. He gave up fiction writing while at Amherst, as he was convinced he was not good at it and instead concentrated on writing plays. He kept on writing plays and also directing them while he was in college and even after he was working in advertising. He got his foot in the door with plays on TV when he wrote a 30-minute comedy series that would stay on TV for more than ten years during which he was a showrunner. But then he wrote another play that Mike Nichols was interested in directing and this marked his entry into movies. He never pursued fiction writing for a few years after that as he was too busy with other projects in Hollywood.

Michael Gould spent five years working on Madison Avenue and during that period he won numerous awards including three clios. On TV he was the head writer and executive producer of “Cybill,” which went on to win Best Comedy Series at the Golden Globes. He was also showrunner and writer for other series such as “Shrek the Third,” “Mr. 3000,” “The Six Wives of Henry Lefay,” “Instant Mom” and “The Jeff Foxworthy Show.” His play “Diva” opened at the La Jolla Playhouse and the Williamstown Theatre Festival and was finally performed around the country and published by Samuel French. In 2010 he was hired to pen a detective script with some comic aspects and the producers loved it. But even though the script attracted several directors and actors things kept falling apart before they could make anything of it. He thought that maybe it was because most movie studios do not produce detective movies anymore seeing that they deem them too small, while Indies deem them too big. But he thought that since there are tons of detective novels still getting published he could turn his script into a novel. He bought back the rights and wrote the novel under a pseudonym so that no one on movies or TV would hold it against him if the book bombed. But with initial good reviews, he finally published “Last Looks” with Dutton in August of 2018.

Charlie Waldo by Howard Michael Gould is a series of novels about a man that has to contend with phony police, phony lovers, and phony friends. As an amateur sleuth he gets caught in the trap of Hollywood homicide investigations mostly because he gets invited by Lorena his ex-girlfriend to assist in investigations for pay. He had once been one of the best police officers in Los Angeles but had a spectacular failure with a triple homicide that had cost him his job. He had then retreated from society, gave up almost everything in life to go live in a tiny cabin in the woods. His lives by a policy of having no more than 100 items in his possession at any one time. Whenever he buys anything new he will throw away one of his other possessions. But then he meets Alastair who introduced him back to the world of drug dealers, exercise gurus, rappers, network presidents, lawyers, actors, and crooked police all with huge egos. It is a world that Gould knows very well having spent much of his time in Madison Avenue for more than thirty years. While it is a good life, it has its ups and downs and just as Michael Gould found out, it is a fickle culture for everyone including Charlie Waldo. Through the lead character Waldo, Gould explains how dynamic and fast-changing Hollywood is. It is a world of huge egos, treachery and deceit where only the most agile survive.

Howard Michael Gould’s “Last Looks” is a madly fun, exquisitely paced and razor-sharp thriller that introduced Charlie Waldo, a brilliant yet highly eccentric former detective gone rogue. Hollywood and California have their own share of eccentric persons but Charlie Waldo is a different breed. Once upon a time he had been a superstar detective but had given it all up after he messed up a huge case. He now lives in solitude in a tiny cabin out in the woods committed to owning no more than 100 items. He left his former glamorous life behind including his career and Lorena his girlfriend and imposes on himself a penance for botching the case. But the ghosts of the past refuse to be banished as his former girlfriend soon comes to ask him to help with a case involving Alastair Pinch. Pinch is one of the most difficult actors in the movie scene. He had once upon a time worked as a thespian for the Royal Shakespeare Company though he now works as the sagely Southern judge on some second rate network. But the man is belligerent, absurdly rich and often drunk. It is a bad combination particularly when his wife is found murdered in their house and Alastair has no recollection of what transpired. Lorena his old flame seeks him out and together with Alastair’s shady network they manage to convince him to take the case. But he has been away from investigations and civilization for years and working against a confusing array of characters seeking to eliminate him it is not going to be easy. He must navigate a complicated web of deceit and ego to confirm Alastair’s guilt or clear his name.

“Below the Line” the second novel in the series sees Waldo come back in fast-paced and wildly fun thriller lampooning Hollywood. Charlie Waldo the former superstar LAPD detective has been living all alone in the woods for a few years as a form of penance until his former girlfriend smoked him out. He had helped successfully solve a homicide in the previous novel but now Lorena has brought him a new client and a case that promises even much more. The client is Stevie Rose, a privileged and wild teenager from Los Angeles with lying in her blood. Things get complicated when the teacher she accuses of molesting her is found murdered and the LA police believe Rose is responsible. But then she goes missing and her rich Hollywood parents ask Waldo for help in finding her. The task soon sees him trawling the complex and dangerous worlds of Orange County that can be both seedy and opulent, and where everything seems not to be as it presents. There is deception and treachery at every turn and combined with Waldo long acquired eco obsession, Lorena finds it hard to work with the man. They are running out of time to solve the murder and find Stevie, while fighting off new and old enemies.

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